carpenter ant

noun

Definition of carpenter ant

: an ant (especially genus Camponotus) that gnaws galleries especially in dead or decaying wood

Illustration of carpenter ant

Illustration of carpenter ant

Examples of carpenter ant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pity the poor unsuspecting carpenter ant who unwittingly becomes infected with spores scattered by a parasitic fungus in the Cordyceps genus. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Zombifying fungus bypasses the brain to make ants its puppets, study finds," 17 July 2019 One of its favorite foods is the carpenter ant, nests of which the pileated drills into and plunders. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: The sighting of a 'ghost bird' along the Milwaukee River is a double treat," 12 Feb. 2020 In the Brazilian jungle, at a height of just about 10 inches off the ground, carpenter ants can be found with their jaws permanently locked on a leaf, frozen in a never-ending dance as an alien stalk grows through their head. Everyday Einstein Sabrina Stierwalt, Scientific American, "Real-Life Zombies," 20 Sep. 2019 The termite operator in that area might be looking for wood-destroying beetles or carpenter ants. Pat Kapowich, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Couple doesn’t want advice about vacation home shopping to turn into a family feud," 29 Aug. 2019 There are probably carpenter ants living in your tree and crawling around your kitchen. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Carpenter ants build nests in wet, rotting wood," 3 July 2019 There have been breakthroughs in size bioengineering, but mostly in animals and often in the wrong direction, like a 2015 study that significantly increased the size of carpenter ants by modifying their DNA. Eric Spitznagel, Popular Mechanics, "Why Can’t We Shrink Our Kids Yet?," 21 June 2019 The most pervasive of these include pavement ants, Argentine ants, odorous house ants and carpenter ants. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of Ants," 9 May 2018 The most pervasive of these include pavement ants, Argentine ants, odorous house ants and carpenter ants. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of Ants," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carpenter ant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of carpenter ant

1883, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about carpenter ant

Time Traveler for carpenter ant

Time Traveler

The first known use of carpenter ant was in 1883

See more words from the same year

Statistics for carpenter ant

Last Updated

8 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carpenter ant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/carpenter%20ant. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on carpenter ant

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about carpenter ant

Comments on carpenter ant

What made you want to look up carpenter ant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!